Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JOHN LANGSFORD. Perhaps two-thirds of the citizens of Springfield and Greene county are of English descent, but the percentage born in the British Isles is comparatively small. There is no marked difference--a slight peculiarity in accent and speech, maybe, is about all, and some words mean to an Englishman something a little different to what they may convey to the American, but they are not very many; and thus being so closely related in so many respects, so nearly resembling each other from a physical standpoint and our aims being about the same, it is well that the peoples of these, the two greatest nations on the face of the globe, should be friends and mix freely.
John Langsford, city sewer inspector of Springfield, is one of the Britons who has cast his lot with the people of Greene county. He was born in the western part of England June 24, 1862. He is a son of William and Mary Ann (Oliver) Langsford, both natives of England, the father's birth occurring in 1825. They both grew to maturity and received good educations in their native land, were married there and there spent their lives. The mother died when our subject was a small boy, about fifty years ago, after which the father married again, and he and his last wife have both been deceased some time. William Langsford was for many years connected with a great mining company for which he had charge of sinking shafts in northern England. His family consisted of three children, namely: Jane Ann, deceased; Charles, deceased; and John, of this review.
John Langsford was but a boy when he immigrated to the United States, and he received a meager schooling in the common schools of both countries, but educated himself for the most part. He located in Calumet, Houghton county, Michigan, where he worked for a copper mining company for a period of eighteen years, having had charge of the sinking of shafts, in fact, he continued to reside in Calumet for a period of about thirty years during which he was always engaged in the mining business, the various phases of which he knew thoroughly and was enabled thereby to make a good livelihood. In 1902 he left the Wolverine state and came to Joplin, Missouri, in the lead and zinc mining district, and for some time had charge of two mines there, however, the following year he came to Springfield and took charge of the zinc mines near this city, remaining in this line of work until three years ago. In 1912 he was appointed sewer inspector of Springfield, which position he still holds, the duties of which he has discharged in a manner highly creditable to himself and to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Mr. Langsford was married on May 29, 1884, in Michigan, to Edith Harry, a native of England, from which country she emigrated with her parents to America when eight years of age. She is a daughter of Robert and Margaret (Trewella) Harry. The father was a mine operator. His death occurred some years ago, but Mrs. Harry is living in Calumet, Michigan. The wife of our subject grew to womanhood in Michigan and there received a common school education.
Five children, all living at this writing, have been born to Mr. an Mrs. Langsford, named as follows: Joshua, born October 19, 1886, lives in Iowa City, Kansas, where he is superintendent of the United Iron Works, is married to Nina Potter and they have one child, Robert; Clara, born on April 17, 1888, lives at home; Margaret, born on May 27, 1891, is teaching school and lives at home; Lester R. born on June 2, 1895, is a clerk in the Frisco offices in Springfield, and lives at home; John M., born on December 22, 1910.
Politically, Mr. Langsford votes independently. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic Order, Knights Templars, and the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He and his family are members of the Grace Methodist Episcopal church on South street.
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